J W MARRIOT KHAO LAK
Firstly let me start by saying that we do not normally stay at large hotel chains – and if we do it would be Four Season or Ritz Carlton – so my review may be unfair in regard to this hotel in this category.
There is no doubt that this is a beautiful hotel. The pools as talked about are amazing and so are the gardens.
We choose this hotel for part of our week in Khao Lak as we hoped it would offer activities for our teenage sons and hopefully some company. Unfortunately the hotel was half empty so there was a lack of kids and activities.
The activities listed – like beach soccer, pool tournaments etc do not happen.
The rooms are excellent. Go for the pool access which are fantastic. Not having a seas view is more than compensated for by the view over the pool and gardens. We were in block 4. I think block 1 is the one with the garden access to the pools – and no steps. We certainly had steps for easy access from the pool. We actually started off in a duplex suite which was a huge disappointment. We went for it as it offered two rooms and two bathrooms however the bedroom is on a mezzanine so it is actually not two rooms – only two levels. The mezzanine floor has a very low ceiling and we found it stuffy and the air conditioning really loud – even when turned off as it must be part of a total hotel system. The low ceiling made it oppressive and there was not much room downstairs for chilling out in comfort as it has a dining table and chairs and an odd day bed. As we also had an extra bed it made the room pretty much unusable. The other rooms however were fantastic. Good space and furniture for relaxing and lovely veranda to sit out on by the water. So if travelling with teenagers I would certainly go for the two room option as opposed to the suite.
The bathrooms are lovely – although I don’t get the glass doors on the loo. May as well have no door.
We ate dinner at the hotel one night and although the food was VERY westernised it was Ok and for a 5 star hotel very good value for money.
We were lucky that the restaurants on the beach were open and we found MaMa Greeting excellent – some of the best food we had on our trip.
All the staff were excellent – the only exception being the girl who checked us in who had a distinct lack of personality. Not friendly and not a smile to pass her lips. (Please note she was European not Thai)
The breakfast has been raved about. I would say it was good but not great. There had heaps of variety but a few things were off putting. I have never seen poached eggs precooked and reheated before – maybe I don’t get out enough! Also the girl cooking the waffles had a pan under the waffles pan collecting the burnt butter/oil – it looked gross.
The other real problem I had was with the cleanliness of the main pool. It was full of debris, sand leaves etc. In a resort of this calibre this should have been sorted each morning. In our three days I did not see this part of the pool being cleaned once.
The tennis court, squash court, table tennis table, snooker table and gym were all great and they did not sting you each time you wanted to play.
As in all of Asia maintenance is an issue and while we were there they had closed down one block for refurbishment – so they are keeping on top of it. As the hotel is so large it is a major undertaking. It is the external areas that are showing some decay – the rooms are top notch.
I would also recommend they put sun shade sails over the children’s pool and play ground. When we were there no one used this area and I think the lack of shade had a lot to do with it.
Please note that the beach is very beautiful to walk along and loved the sound of the waves but it is very muddy and the water not clear. Also it is isolated but taxis are cheap.
Overall an excellent choice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the treasures of Khao Lak at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa. The pristine white sand beach stretches for miles, melting into the exquisite azure waters of the Andaman Sea. This is Khao Lak, Thailand - a hidden paradise of sun, sea and sand, as well as lush tropical greenery, granite mountains and stunning waterfalls. The vast landscaped area within the resort grounds makes the resort an ideal outdoor venue for incentives or themed events, weddings or product launches. At Marriott Hotels and Resorts®, it's our mission to make every business trip a pleasure and every vacation a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy amenity-filled guest rooms, superb dining, and exemplary meeting facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jw Marriott Khao Lak Resort And Spa
- Jw Marriott Khao Lak Hotel Khao Lak
- Cher Fah Hotel
- Cher Fah Resort